CYPRESS, CA- Cypress men's basketball (8-6, 1-1 OEC) dropped a close game to the Orange Coast Pirates (9-3, 2-0 OEC) for their first conference loss, 61-63.
Cypress lost the tip-off to start the game and quickly went down 0-5 after two Pirates steals. The first few minutes proved the game would be physical and intense. Both teams played fast with full court presses and emotional loud benches. The Chargers put up four points before not scoring for seven straight minutes.
The Pirates' speed led to 11 steals to Cypress' two in the first 20 minutes. Officials granted Cypress three technical fouls while handing the Pirates one. Near the end of the first frame, momentum shifted to Cypress' side as they came within four points. At the end of the fiery half Cypress trailed, 35-31.
Throughout the final frame, Cypress trailed with a consistent five point deficit. At the tenth minute, the Chargers took their first lead of the night, 42-41. Exchanging baskets and the lead, each sideline's defense pressed for possession.
Tied 60-60 with a minute left, the Chargers drew a foul during a scramble for the ball. Grant Sii made one of two free throw opportunities to regain the lead, 61-60. With :33 on the clock, the Pirates made a layup for the lead. A Cypress timeout stopped the game with :04 seconds left to keep possession. Failing to cleanly enter the ball back into play, Cypress turned the rock over leading to a foul.
In a high intensity game, the home team fell to OCC 61-63 in the final seconds. Emotions flew as Cypress ended their seven game winning streak and was met with their first conference loss. The two teams will meet for a second and final time late next month on January 25th.
UP NEXT: After the holiday break, the Chargers will visit District Rivals, Fullerton Hornets, on January 4th for their first road conference matchup. Tip-off will be at 7PM.
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